View Full Version : Keeping Head Down
Do any of you have any tried and true methods for keeping your head from jumping up while shooting? Any tricks that really work? (Except for the fishing line to the scrotum cure.) I've got an ingrained habit that I despertately need a cure for. Thanks in advance.
03-20-2002, 06:57 PM
A 5 pound ankle weight, slung around the back of your neck, should do the trick!
03-20-2002, 07:04 PM
Here's a simple drill. Let's call it down for the sound During practice simply do not allow yourself to move your head till the sound of the object ball hits the back of the pocket. This down time is a bit exaggerated for normal play on some shots but a good discipline none the less.
03-20-2002, 07:10 PM
A Catholic nun with a steel ruler.
Not a trick nor a cure all but practice staying down till you see the ball fall in the pocket
03-20-2002, 08:06 PM
This has been a problem with a lots of players. My only response is that if it is happening after you have delivered your stroke.. don't worry about it. Lots of very good players get up after they stroke and the first thing that happens on the way up is "the head moves"
If you are not keeping your head down during your stroke,, this is a big problem... a cure that I have seen work, is putting your chin on the cue while stroking and this becomes a gentle reminder that your head is still down...
03-20-2002, 09:42 PM
I have a problem with this myself. One thing that sometimes works for me is to say to myself, just before getting down over a shot, "I may miss this ball, but I absolutely will miss it with my head down and motionless." Sounds negative, but it doesn't play negative in my head. It amounts to saying to myself that if I DO miss the shot, it won't be because I have jerked my head up. Hope this helps.
03-20-2002, 09:45 PM
LMAO-had same problem-have friend watch you and everytime you jump-get whacked in head with stick-teaches you real quick,but brutal!good luck!:)
03-20-2002, 09:51 PM
How about putting one of those dog shock collars on and giving the button to your best friend. When you move your head you get zapped to your knees. I'll bet the collar would work real fast. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Just the thought of it has me typing without moving my head. LOL
03-20-2002, 09:56 PM
A friend of mine suggested that I hang a #9 treble hook from my neck, stategically located of course. I decided it would be easier to practice staying down on the shot, and looking it into the hole, until it became habit. Practice until it becomes habit. The only way to break bad habits is to create new ones. It's much easier to work on these types of things in practice, rather than game situations. In practice, it doesn't matter whether you make your shot or not, only that you keep your head down.
probably the best instructor/analyst on the planet was working me over on this one evening but also gettin after me on following thru on the stroke. took me a long time to figure out that there was a method afoot. the instructor made me look at the tip after every shot to see if it was forward enough and if it was straight. especially, i was to look to see if i laid down a 'track' with the tip. since my job was not done till i looked at the tip, it beat the jumping up problem (pretty well).
03-21-2002, 04:20 AM
LMAO-what a way to wake up-now that was good-someone should patent that idea! Go for it!
Have a nice day!
03-21-2002, 05:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CarolNYC:</font><hr> LMAO-had same problem-have friend watch you and everytime you jump-get whacked in head with stick-teaches you real quick,but brutal!good luck!:)
And if that doesn't work, have the friend swing the stick around and use the butt end. Move up to a baseball bat if needed. LMAO. Rich R.
03-21-2002, 05:54 AM
C.C.~~just fell off the computer.....
03-21-2002, 06:03 AM
All the funny answers were taken. So, I guess I'll be the dull one here and say. Your problem lies within your stance. Your weight distribution. Have someone look at your stance and see what's going on. Is your back sore?
03-21-2002, 06:43 AM
All I can say to that recommendation is; Ouch!
Damn, and I thought that I had a mean streak. Chessemouse, you make me look tame.
Chris Cass made a useful reply pointing out physical aspects of problems staying in the "shooting position"
It's a matter of breaking a bad habit...maybe harder than qitting smoking.
I am six foot one inch tall. For me, when I make the proper stance, My right leg must eXtend behind me several feet from my head.
I've spent years of shooting pool having to deal with- drunks tripping over my extended leg, or, having to say "excuse me...can you move for a second..I need alittle room here". Just the other night a guy tripped over my leg, spilled his drink, was embarassed in front of some girls, hit my stick while I was taking a shot. If you get used to not s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g way out and down to make your shots, you will develope a certain amount of skill staying up.
After a certain amount of skill is developed, and you decide to correct your stance, you may get frustrated because you will have develope a new skill from a different view,
THIS FRUSTRATION WITH TEMPORARY LOSS OF SKILL WILL BE WHAT MAKES IT HARD FOR YOU TO STAY DOWN.
I have played in bar-rooms more than anywhere most of my life. There is almost always a problem in bars with too many people too close to the table.
A catholic nun will be happy to smack you on the knuckles with the steel edge of a heavy oak ruller, but she won't go to a bar with you.
Got to break this habit with will power.
03-21-2002, 07:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> Do any of you have any tried and true methods for keeping your head from jumping up while shooting? Any tricks that really work? (Except for the fishing line to the scrotum cure.) I've got an ingrained habit that I despertately need a cure for. Thanks in advance. <hr></blockquote>
I'll echo what Tom in Cincy said.
To add, does anyone ever mention your head popping up when you make the shot? It probably does a little but nobody cares since you made the shot. Also, often times, if not every time, people with good mechanics will pop the head up more noticeably well after they know they hit it badly. This could happen the moment the cueball leaves the cuestick. Players know when they missed it. I personally think it's rare that someone will miss *because* of the head popping.
Fred <~~~ against the common misconception
Allison Fischer works on techniques when she practices. So do I and keeping my head still is a top priority. You have to be honest with yourself; it is so tempting to ignore moving your head after making good shots. In golf, I used to wear a cap which I used during the swing to see if the background was moving. This works also in pool. When you move your head, it will be more noticable with a cap. Anyway, I believe the #1 solution is to have a proper stance that is comfortable for you. When I was young, I used to get down an inch from the cue. Now that I am older and have back problems, I have to stand more erect. #2 is to practice taking slow backswings (ideally the exact distance of the final backstroke) while preping for the shot (your follow through should come naturally). #3 is to be consistent. Try to develop a rythm: one,two,three,four, and pop. #4 is to practice drilling your eyeballs on the object ball just before you shoot and stay steady during the entire shot. Not to get too technical, but if you head moves, the fluid in your inner ear moves and causes your balance to be off, and then other terrible things will start to happen like jerking your head up subconsciously trying to compensate). A lot of players look at the object ball while shooting, but not long enough (only at the last split second). This promotes jerkyness. You have to have enough confidence in your stroke to be comfortable staring at the object ball while stroking. When you get your head still, your stroke,aim,concentration,feel etc. will improve greatly. As a matter of fact, once you get good at this, you should be able to shoot a shot closing your eyes just before you shoot. Then in the darkness your can actually feel your entire body movements and are very aware of the fact that your head is actually staying still, especially on the follow through. I used to take peoples' money shooting with my eyes closed (mostly joking around). No body falls for that now. Good luck/from Whitewolf
03-21-2002, 01:58 PM
My students fear the collar and they seem to stay down for an inordinate lenght of time. Sometimes I have to go up and touch them to get them moving. LOL /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif
This is what the cue ball looks like after getting shocked.
Well Anonymous, I like the reply from Anonymous. Now that I think about it, that's a strange name for two people
to have on the same board! Outside of it being a bad habit, as mentioned it's a lack of confidence and concentration. It also happens when a person just wants to get the shot over with. You need to see the cue finish and the ball go into the pocket or hear it hit the back of the pocket.
To exaggerate this, start off slow and hold your position with your eyes focused on where contact was made. Do not look at where the c/b is going. This also sharpens your sense of feel, and being in a hurry to look will not change anything, other than you might miss the ball or play poor position because you got excited, lost focus and come out of your stance early.
A couple of drills I like is have the person shoot simple follow shots where the cue ball comes around 2 rails, and headed for the third rail under your cue. Stay focused on the original contact point, then when you see the c/b in your peripheral vision, simply lift your cue only and let it go under you. Do the same for an easy draw shot that's straight in, lift your cue only and let it go under you.
After the c/b stops you can look but not before. As I said, lifting early is a sure way to destroy a good stroke and miss balls.
I have been guilty of staying down to long and foul the c/b or an object ball. I know at times we all get excited to see where whitie is going and that's not a good habit, to look to early.
03-21-2002, 04:37 PM
Fred, a thought provoking post. More I thought about it, the head coming up (in fact, the whole body rearing up) seems to be just one element of totally choking or giving up on the shot. As you say, part of your mind knows the shots been missed as soon as you pull the trigger...then up you go.
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